Mount Sinai and Healthfirst® Introduce New Medicare Advantage Insurance Plan

The Mount Sinai Health System and Healthfirst, a leading managed care organization serving more than one million members in downstate New York, have launched a unique, co-branded Medicare Advantage (MA) insurance plan for Manhattan residents. Eligible Medicare beneficiaries can enroll in Healthfirst Mount Sinai Select (HMO) between October 15 and December 7, 2014, for coverage effective January 1, 2015.

Read more

Third Annual SINAInnovations Conference “Engineering and Medicine”

This year’s program will feature a number of exciting speakers, exhibitors, and demonstrations exploring the expanding interface between engineering and medicine—and how it is transforming all aspects of health care.

Topics include: breakthroughs in material science, nanotechnology, and imaging; genomics and personalized medicine; transformative technologies, including apps, software, and mobile technologies; and engineering to improve global health.

Read more

Mount Sinai to Open Kidney Stone Center

A comprehensive outpatient Kidney Stone Center, which will offer patients new minimally invasive techniques and a holistic approach to prevention, will be the first of its kind in New York City when it opens this fall in two Manhattan locations.

The Center will be headed by Mantu Gupta, MD, who was recently named Director of Endourology and Stone Disease for the Mount Sinai Health System, Chair of Urology at Mount Sinai Roosevelt and Mount Sinai St. Luke’s, and Professor of Urology.

Read more

“From the Moment She Was Hospitalized They Never Left Her Side. Or, More Precisely, They Never Left Her by Herself — It Turns out There Is Actually Bit of a Difference between the Two.”

Some interesting advice on “visiting hours”…

The New York Times blog vignette read: “For 15 years Anna was a solitary figure sitting at the far end of our waiting room for her annual checkups, having shaved a half-hour off her workday so she could hustle over before we locked our doors.”

Read more

Sovaldi, the $1,000-a-Day Pill for Hepatitis C

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 3.2 million people in the U.S. have chronic hepatitis C infections. Most of them haven’t been diagnosed.”

The NPR story reported that “Sovaldi is the first hepatitis C pill that doesn’t have to be accompanied by interferon for some types of hepatitis.”

“Sovaldi has been found to be remarkably effective, essentially curing 90 percent or more patients with a common form of hepatitis C in 12 weeks.”

Read more

We Generally Use Health Care Services Not Knowing That It Will Cost “Out-of-Pocket”

The Washington Post article noted: ”There’s been much written in the past year about just how hard it is to get a simple price for a basic health-care procedure.”

“About two dozen industry stakeholders, including main lobbying groups for hospitals and health insurers, this morning are issuing new recommendations for how they can provide the cost of health-care services to patients.”

Read more

Obamacare Allows Appeals to the Insurer and, If Necessary, to a Third-Party Reviewer

A Kaiser Health news story noted “Federal rules ensure that none of the millions of people who signed up for Obamacare can be denied insurance — but there is no guarantee that all health services will be covered.”

“A 2011 GAO report sampling data from a handful of states before the health law took effect found that patients were successful 39 to 59 percent of the time when they appealed directly to the insurer. When appealing to a third party (such as the state insurance commissioner), patients also were often successful in getting the service in question – winning as many as 54 percent of such decisions in Maryland, for example. ”

Read more

“William Howard Taft, the Only Massively Obese Man (at 350 Pounds) Ever to Be President … Struggled Mightily to Control His Weight a Century Ago…”

The New York Times article noted: “On the advice of his doctor, a famed weight-loss guru and author of popular diet books, he went on a low-fat, low-calorie diet. He avoided snacks. He kept a careful diary of what he ate and weighed himself daily. He hired a personal trainer and rode a horse for exercise.”

“Obesity experts said Taft’s experience highlights how very difficult it is for many fat people to lose substantial amounts of weight and keep it off, and how little progress has been made in finding a combination of foods that lead to permanent weight loss.”

Read more

“We Called It a Hotel near a Major Teaching Hospital”

“Though the views were spectacular, the cardiac arrest team could not get there as quickly as it could to the regular wards.”

The New York Times article asked the questions “What is going on here? Is This a Hospital or a Hotel?”

“The Henry Ford health system in Michigan caused a stir after it hired a hotel industry executive, Gerard van Grinsven of the Ritz-Carlton Group, in 2006 to run its new hospital, Henry Ford West Bloomfield. There are some medical arguments for the trend — private rooms, for example, could lower infection rates and allow patients more rest as they heal. But the main reason for the largess is marketing.”

Read more

“The Health Care System … Is a National Treasure and Deserves to Be … Protected.”

The New York Times article reported that quote from former Vice President Dick Cheney.

“Former Vice President Dick Cheney was so close to death in 2010 that he said farewell to his family members and instructed them to have his body cremated and the ashes returned to Wyoming, he writes in a new book on his long battle with heart disease.”

“Mr. Cheney ultimately survived the emergency surgery that night and went on to have a heart transplant at age 71 that has left him re-energized five years after leaving office. But for the first time, he describes a 35-year medical struggle that he kept generally private in vivid personal detail.”

Read more